If you’re not aware of Proscenic’s line of branded home appliances, we’ve reviewed the P11 cordless vacuum cleaner and the excellent M7 Pro robot vacuum and mop. Now we’re taking a look at the T21 smart air fryer.
Air fryers have boomed in popularity over the last couple of years. They’re versatile, easy to use countertop appliances that are faster and more energy efficient than cooking in the oven. But they’ve largely come into their own as a healthier alternative to frying food.
An air fryer can give you crispy, crunchy food without the need to shallow or deep fry, so you can use much less oil in your cooking. But they’re good for more than just fish and chips. To find out more about their uses, benefits and features, you can read our air fryer guide.
T21 design and features
The T21 is a 1700W air fryer, with a large, 5.5 litre capacity. While this is good news for the portion sizes it can handle – you could cook fish or chicken for four people – it’s a hulking monolith of black plastic and aluminium (31.4 x 31.6 x 32.6cm) that will require a big chunk of your kitchen counter space.
Bear in mind that you also need to allow 15cm of space around it while it’s in operation, including plenty of room for airflow around the air inlet at the back. The metal casing can become hot to the touch, so you won’t want it too near the edge of your counter where you might brush against it.
But it does have all of the features and functionality you could ask for in an air fryer. Plus, it’s extremely easy to use. You simply remove the drawer, which has a Teflon-coated cooking basket inside, add your food and use the LED touchscreen to choose your cooking programme. The drawer and basket are both dishwasher safe, so clean-up is quick as well.
The T21 is about as close to one-button cooking as it’s possible to get. In fact, if you use one of the 8 pre-set programmes, pressing one button is literally all you’ll have to do.
An air fryer isn’t just an alternative to frying. It’s really just a mini convection oven, so you can cook a wider variety of foods in it than you might think. The T21 has pre-sets for obvious items, such as fries, shrimp, bacon and chicken, but also less obvious items such as pizza, steak and cake.
I have to take issue with the pizza cooking option. Sure, there are online recipes for making pizza from scratch in an air fryer, as well as cooking it from frozen. But the size and shape of the basket just make it impractical, unless you want to cook small, possibly misshapen pizzas, one at a time. (That sounds like a fun Friday night.)
Still, it’s a much better alternative to warming your leftover pizza in a microwave, even though you might only be able to do a few slices at a time.
I’m also sceptical about cooking a steak in an air fryer and ending up with something that’s still juicy and pink inside but I have to admit, I didn’t test this function.
However, I did try cooking roast potatoes and was pretty impressed. It took just 18 minutes and they came out perfectly crisp and crunchy. Are they as good as oven roasting? Maybe not quite – but putting some parboiled potatoes in the basket, pushing a button and getting a tray of roasties 18 minutes later is very much worth it in my (lazy person) book.
Instead of using the pre-set programmes, you can choose to set the cooking time and temperature manually (it has a range of 77–205°C). The T21 also has pre-heat, scheduling and keep warm functions and, unusually, you can use them together, so you can schedule cooking and the T21 will automatically switch to keeping your food warm until you’re ready to eat.
All of the cooking functions are clear and well laid out on the control panel.
Of course, the T21 is all about its smart functionality.
We’ve looked at more than one kitchen appliance that has unnecessary, inbuilt smart functionality that only seems to exist to give it a point of difference in the marketplace.
Usually, the key benefits of smart features are the ability to schedule and to operate a device remotely. These things don’t tend to mix well with food preparation as you really want to be on hand when you’re cooking, for safety’s sake (ahem – fire). Besides, if you have to be in the kitchen to put your fried chicken into the appliance, you might as well switch it on at the same time.
I was therefore prepared to be unimpressed with the T21’s smart features.
The Proscenic app gives you all the same controls as the air fryer’s touchscreen. So, as long as you’ve filled the basket with your recipe, you can start cooking via the app, set the temperature, use the pre-heat and keep warm functions and any of the pre-sets.
The remote functionality isn’t exactly mind-blowing here, although it does mean that if you have your food prepared, you can start cooking from the sofa by pressing a couple of buttons in the app – or even via voice command, if you have a home assistant.
However, the app also contains over 100 recipes, in categories of meat, chicken, desserts, vegetables and more. And this is where it comes into its own.
This gives you the opportunity to streamline the way you cook. Browse the recipes on the app on your journey home, then stop off at the shops and pick up the ingredients you need. Get in, prep your food according to the recipe’s instructions and when it’s ready to go, you simply press “Start Cooking” in the app by the recipe you’ve picked and the T21 will automatically choose the correct temperature and cooking time.
Admittedly, that’s pretty cool. But don’t forget that this air fryer can only cook one dish at a time, so you’ll still need to prepare your side dishes on the hob or in the oven.
It’s worth noting that the T21 is not 5G compatible. And, while the app is well designed and easy to navigate, some of the language translation is a bit odd: to schedule cooking, for example, you’ll need to click on “reservation” or “make an appointment”.
Price & availability
The Proscenic T21 is available to buy in the UK and the US. You can buy it from the Proscenic website, where it’s priced at $129 in the US and £105.61 in the UK.
You can also get it on Amazon in the UK for £119 and the US for $129.
The T21 is relatively expensive for an air fryer but it’s not unreasonable for an appliance with such a large capacity.
Where cooking is concerned, smart functionality is always going to be of limited use because at some stage, you have to put food into the appliance, so you might as well schedule the cooking then. Besides, you don’t want to leave uncooked food sitting in an air fryer for a long time – and you really shouldn’t have an air fryer on while you’re away from home.
However, the T21 has everything you could want in an appliance of this kind: it’s spacious, efficient and easy to use. It’s a good all-rounder for lazy chefs, especially with its smart functionality. What’s more, the in-app recipes with their one-press programmes offer an easy way to try out a fresh dishes and promise a new, streamlined way of cooking.
Proscenic T21 smart air fryer: Specs
Dimensions: 31.4 x 31.6 x 32.6cm
8 cooking pre-sets
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